Prosecutors in Siena order body of David Rossi to be exhumed after family say he was killed for knowing too much about bank’s financial meltdown
The mysterious death of an executive who worked for the world’s oldest bank is to be re-examined after Italian prosecutors ordered that his body be exhumed.
David Rossi, who was the head of communications for Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank, which was founded in 1472, died after falling – or being pushed – from a third floor window of the bank’s headquarters in a 14th century palazzo in the Tuscan city of Siena.
His death in March 2013 came at a time when the bank was pushed close to the brink of collapse over a scandal involving the loss of hundreds of millions of euros through risky investments.
An initial post-mortem found that Mr Rossi, 51, had killed himself, but his family strongly suspect that he was murdered because he knew too much about the bank’s financial deals.
Prosecutors in Siena, where the bank is based, have ordered his body to be exhumed and for the trajectory of his fall to be simulated, in an attempt to discover exactly how he died.
The exhumation is likely to take place next month.
His family claim there were several suspicious elements to the death.
Mr Rossi fell from his office at around 8pm on March 6, 2013, and landed in a darkened alleyway but did not die immediately – he was alive for 22 minutes, investigators believe.
Security camera footage showed one or two shadowy figures appear at the end of the alley, apparently checking that there was no chance he would survive.
The bank executive had bruises and scratches on his arms and wrists which suggested that he may have been gripped forcibly by one or two assailants before being pushed out of the window.
On the back of his head was a deep, L-shaped gash which indicated that he may have been hit with a blunt object before falling from the window.
Three apparent suicide notes were found crumpled in a bin in his study, but Antonella Tognazzi, his widow, said they contained phrases that her husband would never have used.
One of them said: “Ciao, Toni, my love. I’m sorry.”
“He never called me Toni, he always called me Antonella,” his widow said.
A handwriting expert who analysed the notes said they seemed to have been written under duress.
Another unexplained element is the fact that 33 minutes after Mr Rossi fell from his office window, a call was made on his mobile phone.
At exactly the same moment, the CCTV footage showed an object falling onto the ground and landing a few feet from the body; it was later found to be Mr Rossi’s watch, minus the strap.
“We’ve been waiting a long time for the investigation to be reopened,” said Ms Tognazzi.
“It’s what we had been hoping for – it’s an important sign on the part of the judiciary. I have never believed he committed suicide.”